Discharge summaries riddled with 'alarming' abbreviations, study reveals

On average the letters contain 17 abbreviations, most of which mean different things to different doctors, shows Australian research

For any GP who has puzzled over a hospital discharge summary, Aussie findings reveal they contain dozens of abbreviations that can be interpreted in an “alarming” number of ways.

On average, a patient discharge summary has 17 different abbreviations, with one notable example containing 86 short forms, according to Queensland researchers.

Not only were hospital summaries riddled with abbreviations, but they meant different things to the more than 300 doctors in the study.